I’m proud to announce that my first lynda.com course is now live. The title, which shouldn’t come as much of a surprise, is Adobe Digital Publishing Suite Essential Training. If you’re just starting out with, or if you just want to get an overview of DPS and how it works with InDesign and other Creative Cloud applications such as Muse and Edge Animate, this course is for you. While I cover some of the back end information, this course, at its core, is an overview of how to create and work with interactive overlays. I tried to throw a tip or two in each lesson and hope you’ll find it a good starting point with DPS.
The latest version of Edge Animate was released recently and one of the new features was the ability to save with a transparent poster image. That was a great addition but when I tried to place the OAM file in InDesign and tested it out, I still had a black background.
I did a bit of digging and found out the transparent background only works on PNG and JPG articles. I always use PDF format for folios so rasterizing everything was not something I wanted to do. Then I remembered a post on the User to User forums a while back with a great tip on how to get this working on PDF folios.
It’s been more than six months since Adobe announced that it was going to a subscription-only business model for its Creative Suite applications while rebranding them under the Creative Cloud name. Today, there’s still a very vocal group of people blasting Adobe for that decision. I’ve had a few debates (okay, more than a few) about the topic and I’m using this post to spell out why I believe that those waiting for Adobe to back down and offer perpetual licenses will not get what they want. The post isn’t so much about defending Adobe—though I do think they have a right to run their business any way they see fit—but to explain why I think they moved to this business model and why it won’t be reversed.
The idea for this post started when I was asked why I’m fighting those that are against Adobe and Creative Cloud. The fact is, I’m not fighting anyone or anything; I’m just looking at the reality of the situation and the current climate in the software industry. More choices would, in theory, be better. But in practice those choices would cost Adobe millions of dollars. Two licensing models and thousands of SKUs for suites and individual products doesn’t come cheap and it most certainly doesn’t carry with it a guarantee of any return on that investment.
In September Adobe announced a special loyalty offer for Photoshop CS3 and later customers. The offer combined Photoshop and Lightroom along with a few other goodies such as online storage and a Behance Pro website for $9.99/month. Many professional photographers jumped on this but it left academic license owners and suite owners feeling left out in the cold.
Many of you spoke loudly and clearly and Adobe has responded by opening this program up to everyone for a very limited time. Beginning today and lasting until December 2, there is no eligibility requirement at all to take advantage of this offer.
Update on December 6. It looks like this offer has been extended to December 31
Scrollable frames in Digital Publishing Suite is one of my favorite features. In addition to being able to stuff two pounds of potatoes into a one pound sack, it adds to the interactivity giving the user a more engaging experience. Of course like everything else in InDesign and DPS, they’re not without their limitations. I’ve put together a list of quick tips to help you use them successfully.
- Add a text frame inset on the bottom and top of any autofit frame to avoid having descenders and ascenders cut off. I’ve found 5-8 pixel is usually enough.
Ever since Adobe announced its new subscription only policy in May one of the most vocal groups has been photographers. Almost immediately, Adobe began to promise to look for solutions for this group. This was met with a large degree of skepticism but it’s now official, as announced at Photoshop World 2013, Adobe has put together a special Creative Cloud package aimed squarely at Photographers.
It’s back to school time and Adobe isn’t being left behind on special offers for students and teachers. Until the end of October, eligible students and teachers can get the first year of Creative Cloud for only $19.99/month. That’s a savings of 33% over the regular academic priceand a 60% savings over the commercial price.
As I’ve pointed out in the past this is, in my opinion, and fantastic deal for anyone eligible for it. In the scheme of things, especially for students, comparing this to other costs is just a blip on the radar. Cell phones, text books, tuition and even a couple of trips to Starbucks or Dunkin Donuts will be more than this.
This deal does require a one year commitment but it allows for commercial work so a student or teacher could, in addition to learning the applications, use them to earn a few bucks.
One of my favorite new features in Digital Publishing Suite over the last year or so was the addition of raster/vector settings for PDF formatted overlays. Before that, all overlays were rasterized…even if the folio was created using the PDF format. Because of that, text contained in an overlay tended to look a bit pixelated, especially on a retina iPads.
In case you’re not sure what I’m referring to here, let’s take a quick look at how this works and then we’ll talk about the pros and cons of vector and raster overlays. In the screenshot below, I have an multi state object selected in InDesign and Folio Overlays panel open to the slideshow pane. From there I can choose whether to use raster or vector format.
When Creative Suite 4 was released in 2008 one of the great advancements was a 64 bit version of Photoshop for Windows. This allowed the traditionally RAM hungry application to access all of the RAM you could possibly install on a computer as long as you had a machine running Vista 64 (Windows XP-64 was never a supported operating system). The result was an impressively faster application, especially when editing larger images since Photoshop did not need to use a harddrive SWAP file for RAM.
Photoshop users, however, had and still do depended on many third party plugins to add functionality and at the time most of those plugins were still 32 bit. In order to allow the continued use of those plugins, it was necessary to produce a 32 bit version of Photoshop as well. The result was that following installation, there were two versions of Photoshop installed on 64 bit Windows machines.
With all of the controversy surrounding Adobe’s move to Creative Cloud’s subscription-only model one of the facts that I see very little discussion about is the updated system requirements. If you’re a subscriber and planning to use the new applications that will be released on June 17, the most important change you need to be aware of involves the supported operating systems for most of the applications.
Those requirements for Mac are OSX 10.7.x (Lion) or 10.8.x (Mountain Lion). For Windows users, it’s Windows 7 Service Pack 1 or Windows 8.
So, what will happen if you try to install the new Creative Cloud applications such as Photoshop CC on earlier systems? Most of them will probably install and function on Snow Leopard (in fact, according to this page on Adobe.com, InDesign CC and Illustrator CC are supported on Snow Leopard), but you’ll be pretty much on your own if something isn’t working properly. Similarly, on Windows, you should be able to get it to install on Vista. For anything earlier on either platform, all bets are completely off and the applications aren’t likely to install at all.